August 10 – 15
August 11 – 15
7 pm Nightly
Sunday Matinee @ 1:30 pm
Rated PG — 1 hr 45 min
SciFi / Comedy
Wes Anderson’s 1950s sci-fi film is an exhilarating triumph of pure style. The director and his all-stars go meta with a TV show about a theatrical play that, in turn, is about a small town, U.S.A. Written by Anderson, the film is about desire and death, small mysteries and cosmic unknowns and the stories that we make of all the stuff called life. Set in September 1955 in a tiny desert town known as Asteroid City (where the Arid Plains Asteroid touched down), the main plot takes place over the course of a week in which a motley crew who has descended on the town for the Asteroid Day and Junior Stargazer celebrations finds themselves stranded.
Naturally, the film is dense with wordy witticisms, referential names and visual jokes, but Anderson allows us to linger, a little, in his carefully crafted design, which is not so much a jewel box but more like a diorama this time around. Though we’re told this is a “play,” it’s not filmed or presented as a contained theatrical experience, but rather as an intensely cinematic work, with a sentient, even humorous camera that reveals the space and characters in leisurely pans and textured Kodak film.
Asteroid City’s eccentricity, its elegance, its gaiety, and its sheer profusion of detail within the tableau frame make it such a pleasure. So, too, does its dapper styling of classic American pop culture. With every new shot, your eyes dart around the screen, grabbing at all the painterly little jokes and embellishments, each getting a micro-laugh. The funny and profound Asteroid City feels like the movie of the summer, eerily tapping into current news about UFOs while synthesizing the retro pop styling of Barbie with the atomic age anxiety of Oppenheimer. It all leads back to deeply existential queries and conversations.
Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Liev Schreiber, Hope Davis, Steve Park, Rupert Friend, Maya Hawke, Steve Carell, Matt Dillon, Hong Chau, Willem Dafoe, Margot Robbie, Tony Revolori, Jake Ryan and Jeff Goldblum.